Archive for the Computers and Internet Tag


A while back I upgraded the server, partially breaking my blog in the process. Rather than wade through the maze of Drupal modules I had installed to make things livable, I took the opportunity to move to WordPress. Maybe I’ll blog more. 😛

Dennis M. Ritchie

According to filesystem timestamps, I wrote this 4/9/1998. I know where I was seated when I wrote it, and it was definitelyspring, so that date is plausible. It seemed apropos, given Dennis’ passing, to post it now. Hopefully, those who might be offended will remember that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. DMR is my shepherd; I shall
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Rainy afternoon Robotics, or the “Frankentruck FT-5”

So, the day turned rainy and there is a somewhat rigorous moratorium here on desktop computing.  I decided that didn’t include supervised robotics.  Full details, more pics and movie mayhem after the break.

Regex for Java in Unicode…

Think The Producers‘ “Springtime…  in Germany” when reading the title, it might make slightly more sense… A friend of mine was recently posed a challenge by hir instructor in an introductory Java class.  The challenge was (sic.) “I was recently writing a program to generate usernames from the first seven letters of a student’s last name and their first initial,
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USCGC Mackinaw

The USCGC Mackinaw pulled into the bay this afternoon, shortly after lunchtime.  What she was doing, exactly, is anyone’s guess, but she appears to be capable of tending buoys, and that seemed to be what she was doing.  After work, she still hadn’t left, so I lugged the telescope down and started getting insane with optics.  I first tried just
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a day around the beach

I snapped a shot of the new bike rack (attached) in the better light after lunch today. After a quick chat with Dad about that we geared up to go riding. There’s a bike path that goes for quite a few miles around the bay, all the way down/over to Charlevoix and all the way the other direction up/around to
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Ummm, Sand!

Wee lass was completely engrossed in this virtual sandbox that my brother linked to me. She made the picture you can see below or in the gallery at


Who’s the bitwise instruction that’s in state machines on all your chips? SHIFT! Can you dig it? They say that cat SHIFT is one bad input MUXer! (Shut your mouth!) I’m just talkin about SHIFT! (Then we can dig it!) (Yes. I *could* do the rest. But WHY?)

Office 2007 / DOCX files got you down?

Recently a few people have asked me how to open DOCX files, which are created in Word 2007 / Office 2007. I have found 4 solutions so far: Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac is perhaps the canonical solution. It won’t make new Office 2007 documents, but I haven’t tried doing that in the other solutions either.
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RIP Khazad Mk IV, 1/2001 – 1/14/2006

Yes, it’s true. Khazad-dum (Mark IV) is dead. Some sort of hardware failure. I have a suspicion it’s motherboard damage, possibly brought on a by an ailing power supply. At least, that’s what killed the last one. The short version of the story is that I found some unrelated trouble with one of the new disks while trying to perform
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